Women-owned Businesses

We’re spotlighting women-owned businesses specializing in quality period-style services and products.

The Color People: Darby Samargo

Trained as an architectural color advisor and planner by the best—James Martin, a leading authority on architectural colors and founder of The Color People—Darby works in the entire gamut of architectural color design. As a member of Color Marketing Group, the premier international association for color design professionals, Darby refines her color viewpoint with relevant color and trend forecast information. Darby received an architecture degree from North Carolina State University, School of Design, with a minor in art and design while studying abroad in Florence, Italy. colorpeople.com

NR Hiller Design: Nancy Hiller

I trained as a furniture maker in England, where I lived for 16 years from the time I turned 12. After earning a City and Guilds of London certificate I worked for Roy Griffiths, a Slade School of Art-trained designer, building old pine kitchens at his Crosskeys Joinery. I later worked for Millside Cabinetmakers and briefly in the carpentry shop of the Imperial War Museum at Duxford Airbase before returning to the United States. Here I worked for Wall-Goldfinger and Credence Custom Furniture before opening NR Hiller Design, Inc. in 1995. I have taught cabinetmaking, furniture, and finishing courses at Kelly Mehler’s School of Woodworking, the Kansas City Woodworkers’ Guild, Lost Art Press storefront, and Marc Adams School of Woodworking and am a member of the Society of American Period Furniture Makers as well as a Companion of the Guild of St. George. nrhillerdesign.com

Arts & Crafts Period Textiles: Dianne Ayres

Meticulous, handmade craftsmanship is what makes her custom work so special. Attracted to “the colors and big bold designs, and the handmade-ness,” Dianne started making her own period-inspired textiles. Some pieces were patterned after the originals she and Tim collected, or patterns in old issues of The Craftsman magazine, which she found in the stacks of the UC–Berkeley library. Soon she was sewing pillows that sold for $200. “It was a huge amount of money back then.”That was the start of Arts & Crafts Period Textiles. Early commissions included a table runner to dress the 1903 Stickley sideboard for which Barbra Streisand famously paid $363,000, in 1988. textilestudio.com

Pasadena Craftsman Tile: Cha-Rie Tang

Cha-Rie Tang is the founder of Pasadena Craftsman Tile, she is an architect, artisan, designer, and public artist. While always fascinated with ceramics and sculpture, Cha-Rie came to tile making by happy accident when a friend stumbled across original Ernest Batchelder plaster molds buried in his yard. Now many years later her passion for ceramics has grown as well as her desire to share it with her clients and customers.Cha-Rie’s public art commissions span Los Angeles and Orange County and include the Monrovia Gold Line Metro stop, Pasadena’s A.R.T. Bus, the City of Los Angeles Public Library at Exposition Park, Los Angeles County Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration, and the City of Mission Viejo Arts Alive Festivals. pasadenacraftsmantile.com

Janna Ugone & Co.: Janna Ugone

Inspired by natural forms, honest materials and genuine passion for truly handmade in USA lighting, Janna Ugone & Co. synchronize contemporary and modern industrial elements that explore life interests and tell a story. “From incorporating reclaimed materials to merging traditional artist processes with innovative technology, we continually strive to present fresh ideas”, says designer Janna. The results are distinctive, multi-dimensional table and floor lamps, pendants, clocks, mirrors and accent tables that transform space and stir the imagination. jannaugoneandco.com

Make it Mid-Century: Susan Halla 

I’m Susan Halla, the founder and a mid-century enthusiast passionate about helping fellow mid-century fanatics like yourself avoid the boring and pursue home improvement in a truly inspired way for your interior and exterior doors, shutters, laminate, and more! makeitmidcentury.com

The Swan Company: Carol Hanson

Whether you are looking for antique picture rail hooks or perhaps something a little fancier such as Victorian picture hangers with tassels and cord, you’re sure to find something to delight you. Original picture rail molding (moulding) can be found in homes through the l940’s, so we’ve included items to compliment your Arts and Crafts furniture or Craftsman style home. We have other fabulous picture hanging hardware including Early American Pattern Glass (EAPG) picture hangers and our latest addition, Breakfast at Tiffany’s. swanpicturehangers.com/

American Building Restoration Products: Sandra Tadych

Restoring the Old. Preserving the New. Combining our nearly 50 years of restoration and preservation experience with our innate customer focus, we’ve been able to create and provide products and solutions for every need. American Building Restoration Products, Inc. was founded in 1970 in Franklin, Wisconsin by Sandra and her late husband, Jack. ABR Products is a family-owned company that pioneered the building restoration and renovation industry throughout the United States. ABR Products, Inc. offers an extensive line of specialty products including environmentally friendly paint removers, wood stripping products, wood finishes, graffiti removers and barriers, concrete sealers and masonry restoration products. abrp.com/

Window Woman of New England: Alison Hardy

Window Woman of New England was established in 2003 by Alison Hardy. Operating as a full-service window shop north of Boston, it offers everything from minor tune-ups to full-scale restorations. Alison and her crew can easily work on over 1,000 windows in a year. window-woman.com

Native Trails: Naomi Neilson

In 1996, Naomi Neilson founded Native Trails. Using her passion for artisan tradition, sustainability, and fair trade practices to bring the work of undiscovered artisans from central Mexico first to central California and then on to living spaces throughout North America. Combining the artisans’ age-old traditions with contemporary design and sustainable materials, Naomi broke new ground with Native Trails iconic copper sinks and helped to introduce copper as a mainstay material for the kitchen and bath. nativetrailshome.com

Notting Hill Decorative Hardware: Kathryn Dustman

Since 1996, Notting Hill Decorative Hardware has embraced our motto, “The Beauty Is In The Details.” Our line is designed to bring a sense of art and luxury to your interior. Notting Hill Decorative Hardware creates high-end hardware for cabinets and furniture. Our artisan line of hardware is handcrafted at a fine art foundry to produce a distinctive line of knobs, pulls, back plates and appliance pulls. nottinghill-usa.com

Zito Schmidt Design: Debey Zito & Terry Schmidt

For over 40 years Zito Schmitt Design (formerly Debey Zito Fine Furniture and Design) has been creating original museum-quality furniture with a design vocabulary including Scandinavian, Asian American and European Arts and Crafts and Art Nouveau. The furniture is infused with historical awareness, yet honed by their personal vision and design experience. Each piece emerges as a creative expression blending past with present. http://www.zitoschmittdesign.com

Melton Work Room: Janice Melton

Melton Workroom is a textile design studio in downtown Los Angeles specializing in making customized home décor products and window coverings. Janice Melton is a designer and artist born and raised in Los Angeles, California. As a young child, she was introduced to the creative arts at a weekend art program at the University of Southern California but it was her time in Sao Vicente, Brazil as a high school exchange, where she discovered her love of all things design. meltonworkroom.com

Shiplights: Alicia Dermody

Brass ‘N Bounty opened its doors in 1978 as a nautical antique store, focusing on the exceptional and rare. Over time, authentic nautical lighting become difficult to source and instead of moving on to other products, the idea was born to start selling new lights with the same durable quality as the antiques; thus Shiplights was born. We started as a small family business and have now proudly served customers’ needs for over 35 years. shiplights.com

Old Village Paint: Laney Landis

We are fifth generation Paintmakers. Our family has been making paint since 1816, nearly 200 years now. We specialize in Historic Restoration paints and colours, making paint the old fashioned way, using natural Earth pigment and other historically accurate ingredients in our paint. This process of printmaking produces a quality of paint that is unmatched in modern paint tint bases and chemical tints. old-village.com

King’s Chandelier: Nancy Talbert

Like so many great American business stories, ours starts as a family business housed in an out building of an old house, in a very small town. The King family was quite prominent in what was then known as Leaksville and operated, among other things, an antique store. DF King, Sr. had a passion for gasoliers and enjoyed the challenge in converting them for use with electricity. With an “aha” moment, he decided to design his own crystal chandeliers, and King’s Chandelier Company was born. chandelier.com

Susan Hebert Imports: Susan Hebert

Beautifully crafted, hand-hammered copper gifts, home accents and decorative accessories, sustainably produced with reclaimed copper and fairly traded since 1994. Hundreds of years before Europeans arrived, the Purepecha Indians from Central Mexico enjoyed an independent and prosperous existence based on a highly developed copper industry. Today the descendants of these Native American smiths work copper in much the same way as did their pre-Columbian ancestors. These artisans use the Traditional Bonfire Method working the copper with nothing more than hammers and anvil to form beautifully crafted objects. ecobre.com/

Charleston Gardens: Leeda Marting

Charleston Gardens® opened its doors at 61 Queen Street, Charleston, SC on December 4, 1994. Our store soon garnered the support of Charlestonians and visitors alike. Our mail order business began with a 12-page catalog in late 1995; our web site debuted in April 1998. Benefiting from the excellent economic environment of the 90s, all three segments of the business—store, catalog and web—grew rapidly. We no longer have a “bricks and mortar” presence in Charleston. Today, our customers come from every state in the union. We mail four different catalogs per year and have over 3,000 items available on our website. charlestongardens.com

Moore-Merkowitz Tile: Susan Moore

Moore-Merkowitz Tile Ltd. was founded in 1986 in Alfred, New York, by ceramic artists Susan Moore and Neil Merkowitz shortly after graduation from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University. We are a ceramics studio specializing in the design and manufacture of handcrafted decorative relief and field tile in the studio arts tradition. Using artistic techniques and handmade processes, our original designs and glazes bring the beauty and practicality of the ceramic arts to personalized residential and commercial spaces of all kinds. All Moore-Merkowitz tiles are made with care in our production studio in Alfred, New York. Prior to arriving in Alfred, Susan studied art in Florence, Italy, and Neil worked with numerous artists at Greenwich House Pottery, a community ceramics school in New York City. mooremerkowitztile.com

Daddy Van’s: Laura Kalkman

Daddy Van’s makes beeswax wood furniture polish, hemp oil wood finish, decorative antiquing wood waxes, and soapstone and butcher block countertop care products that are non-toxic, chemical free, and safe for people and the planet using all natural ingredients. Daddy Van’s All Natural Beeswax Furniture Polish has received the USDA Biopreferred Certification. We are proud to be a Green America Gold Business. The Green America Gold Seal of Approval is presented to businesses that go beyond product and service quality to set the highest standards in environmental sustainability and social justice. daddyvans.com

Blue Ice Textiles: Sandi Marchbanks

Blue Ice Textile Embroidery embroiders Arts and Crafts textiles designed for your 21st century home. Our embroideries are both new and reproduced designs. New art designs are created by artist Leon Roulette, especially for Blue Ice Textile Embroidery. Reproduction designs are authentic designs used by the Keramic Studio, founded in 1899 and published for over 25 years, with permission by Dover Publications. blueicetextileembroidery.com

Ravenstone Tiles: Laura Reutter

Tile artist Laura Reutter began making tiles in the 1990’s. It started out as a hobby while she worked at a museum as an art conservator for a living. After a short period of hobby crafting, while developing appealing designs and glazes, Laura decided to start selling her creations. She found a niche market in the craftsman style. With a move to the Pacific Northwest in 1999, Ravenstone Tiles came to life as a home-based tile studio in Port Townsend, Washington. The natural landscapes, seascapes, old growth forests and dramatic mountain ranges have all been big inspirations to our ever-expanding line of art tiles. ravenstonetiles.com/

JP Weaver: Stephanie Croce

Fine Interior Architectural Mouldings, Designed and Handcrafted in the United States since 1914. All of us here at the JP Weaver Company take great pride in being part of a company that has been in the vanguard of Architectural Moulding and Design since 1914. We have continually been a premier international source for plaster, cornice, crown, ornamental and decorative moulding and design. We look forward to working with you on your next project! jpweaver.com

Stickley: Aminy Audi

Aminy Inati Audi, CEO and chairman of L. & J.G. Stickley, with her late husband, Alfred, purchased a struggling company with only 25 employees in 1974 and turned it into a thriving enterprise known throughout the world for its quality Arts & Crafts designs. Today, Stickley employs more than 1,500 people with three manufacturing plants and 14 company-owned stores. An accomplished leader in an industry traditionally led by men, Mrs. Audi has served on the boards of the American Home Furnishings Alliance, Fine Furnishings International and the American Home Furnishings Hall of Fame Foundation. She has received the Legacy Award and the Woman of the Year in Manufacturing Award from WithIt (Women in the Home Industries Today) and the Laurel Award for excellence from the International Furnishings and Design Association’s New York Chapter. stickley.com

Nawal Motawi

The team at Motawi Tileworks is passionate about making great tile while spreading our positivity, and sharing our experience. Our company was founded in 1992 by Nawal Motawi, who started making tiles in her garage and selling them at the Ann Arbor Farmers Market next to the rutabaga sellers. More than 30 of us now make tiles in a 12,900 square foot studio; and sell them through 300+ stores spread across the United States. We utilize Toyota Style Production thinking and methodology; and strive to cultivate positivity, constant improvement, and high quality tile. Nawal’s motto: It’s fun to be good! (at what you do) motawi.com

Thistle Hill Weavers: Rabbit Goody

• Owner, Designer, and Master Weaver of Thistle Hill Weavers, a custom weaving mill providing historic reproductions to the museum field, the film industry, designer and home owners, and custom woven textiles to designers.
• Consultant to museums and the film industry on textile history, the history of technology, and interior furnishing fabrics.
• Founder and Director of the Textile History Forum, a conference of textile researchers, scholars, and museum professionals that publishes papers in the Textile History Forum Proceedings.
• Director of the Summer Coverlet Institute, a three-day seminar program for curators and collectors thistlehillweavers.com

Native Tile & Ceramics: Diana Mausser

Native Tile and Ceramics Founder and Master Artist Diana Mausser believes every piece of tile tells a story. Diana found Native Tile & Ceramics in a 500-square-foot rehabbed shed in a Marina Del Rey boatyard. In 1998, Native Tile moved to a converted 1940s stucco bungalow with a large backyard in Old Torrance. Diana works with her team of artisans to bring her tile designs to life. With over 1,100 distinctive Craftsman, Spanish, and Moorish-style tile designs created since that first dragon tile. nativetile.com

Persian Carpet: Nelda Lay

The Persian Carpet was born in 1976, with Nelda Lay showcasing beautiful rugs in a rented corner of an antique store. Since then, The Persian Carpet has grown into a leading regional retail store and a national wholesale business, known for the quality and beauty of our merchandise. Over the years, The Persian Carpet has gained a reputation for fair dealing, fair prices, honesty, integrity, and an extensive knowledge of both the history of oriental rugs and today’s rug market. persiancarpet.com

Ariel Grace: Karla Pearlstein & Gwen Jones

Ariel Grace Design, founded by Karla Pearlstein and Gwen Jones, specializes in beautifully crafted, custom designed canvas rugs. Karla, a renowned preservationist, is the founder of the Preservation Artisan Guild, and a longtime lover and owner of floorcloths. Gwen has over a decade of experience as a floorcloth maker having produced over 1000 floorcloths for clients in 19 countries. arielgracedesign.com

Shuttercraft: Colleen Murdock

Family owned manufacturer of top-quality real wood shutters for interior and exterior made in red cedar, mahogany, basswood, poplar, and red oak. Shuttercraft offers hard-to-find authentic moveable louvers, as well as fixed louvers, raised and flat panels, endless cut-outs, arches, capping, and many other custom options for matching your original shutters. Mortise & tenon construction is time tested, proven to provide long life in wood shutters, among many other wood products and antiques still with us today. shuttercraft.com

Abatron: Marsha Caporaso

Founded in 1959, Abatron, Inc., specializes in the research, formulation, and manufacture of epoxy and related compounds. Abatron, Inc.’s business initially served the OEM market with compounds for electronics, adhesives, coatings, composites, molds, and castings. In the early 1980’s the company expanded and began to fill the demand for high-quality building restoration products. abatron.com

Handwerk Shade: Linda Willis

For 25 years we have been custom crafting roller shades using the finest heavy-duty wood spring rollers and traditional shade cloth. We also offer the application of hand stenciled permanent designs to these custom shades. The Handwerk Shade Shop prides itself on outstanding service and quality. thehandwerkshop.com

Sundial Wire: Hilary Kent

Sundial Wire™ has been providing beautiful, high quality, cloth covered wire since 1991. Our wire is newly US-manufactured wire, constructed of copper wire covered in PVC and a cotton or rayon braid.Sundial Wire™ started braiding wire when the supply in old hardware stores was drying up and no other companies were making it. We have always been committed to the highest quality American-made wire. This is why high-end decorators, interior designers, architects, antiques and lighting restorers, lighting manufacturers, movie set decorators, and museums use Sundial Wire™. sundialwire.com


By Old House Journal

Founded in 1973, Old House Journal is the original authority when it comes to old-house restoration, traditional house styles, period kitchens, bath & kitchen restoration, DIY projects, gardens & landscaping, and more-- from Colonial and Victorian through Arts & Crafts and Mid-century Modern homes. 

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